Leigh Day

Daniel Leader

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Daniel Leader is a barrister and partner at Leigh Day’ international law department with over 17 years litigation experience. He specialises in international human rights and environmental litigation with a particular focus on group actions by claimants from the developing world. Dan has extensive experience of complex multi-party/group actions/mass tort claims, as well as cross-border disputes and jurisdictional issues. His recent cases include:

• Lungowe v Vedanta plc [2017] EWCA Civ 1528. Claims on behalf of 1,826 zambian farmers for losses arising out of damage to the environment caused by harmful discharges from the Konkola copper mine. Vedanta has appealed to the Supreme Court and the case is due to be heard in 2018.

• Okpabi v Royal Dutch Shell plc [2018] EWCA Civ 191. Claims on behalf of two Nigerian communities arising from systemic oil pollution by Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary. Permission to appeal to the Supreme Court is being sought by the claimants.

• AAA v. Unilever plc [2018] EWCA Civ 1532. A case on behalf of 218 Kenyan tea workers who contend that Unilever failed to protect them from the foreseeable risk of ethnic violence in 2007. The Court of Appeal declined jurisdiction in 2018 and the claimants are now seeking to appeal to the Supreme Court.

• AAA v. Gemfields Ltd [2018] A claim by 118 individuals for personal injury arising out of serious human rights abuses on and around a ruby mine in northern Mozambique (litigation ongoing).

• The Bodo Community v. Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd [2015]. A claim by a community of 30,000 Nigerians for compensation and remediation of their lands arising out of extensive oil spills in the Niger Delta which settled for £55m in 2015. The clean-up claim is ongoing.

Other cases include the landmark 'Mau Mau litigation' (Mutua v FCO), the Baha Mousa Inquiry, claims by UK citizens and residents detained in Guantanamo Bay against the security services for complicity in torture (Binyan Mohamed v FCO). Dan has extensive experience in Africa and has lived in Kenya and Congo (DRC) where he worked with local human rights lawyers. He was awarded the Bar Pro Bono Award in 2001 for his work in Africa.

Professional Memberships

The Bar Human Rights Committee, Administrative Law Bar Association, International Bar Association Liberty


BA, Oxford University (First class), LLM in International Law, UCL (Distinction). He is an a member of the Government steering board which oversees the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.